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Transit advocates fight for expanded service, more ridership

February 4, 2019

STAMFORD — Veronica Chavers had one message for Mayor David Martin: “We want you to ride the bus.”

It’s the same message she wants to bring to everyone in Stamford, in an effort to increase ridership on Stamford’s CT Transit buses.

Chavers is the president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 443 in Stamford, and a former full-time bus driver herself. She organized a Stamford event for Transit Equity Day, created in Connecticut as a day to advocate for greater transit use and expanded service.

The goal of the day is manifold: more people on buses and trains means less people in cars, which helps with pollution and carbon emissions, and more people using public transportation can lead to expanded services and even more jobs in the transit sector.

John Humphries, the executive director of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, is the lead organizer for the event.

“The idea was to make this connection between climate work that we need to do and the fact that transit is one clear solution to emissions,” he said. “And it’s also an opportunity to provide and strengthen local good paying jobs as well as provide transportation to folks that need it.”

Renee Hamel, a labor organizer for CRCJ, said transportation needs to be expanded.

“We need investment in public transportation,” she said. “We don’t need it to survive. We need it to thrive. We need expanded bus routes.”

ignacio.laguarda@hearstmediact.com

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